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Walmart addresses employee safety

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is taking a number of steps to protect the health of its associates who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said Tuesday.

In a corporate blog post, Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner and Sam’s Club president and CEO, Kath McLay detailed the steps the retailer is taking:

“We continue to follow and communicate the CDC’s recommended guidance on behaviors like washing hands, social distancing, and the cleaning of surfaces. And we have made significant operational changes in our stores, clubs, DCs, and FCs this month — such as closing overnight for cleaning, installing sneeze guards at key transaction points, using wipes and sprayers for carts, putting in signing for social distancing, and implementing a COVID-19 emergency leave policy.

“Today we’re sharing additional steps we’re taking to promote a safe and healthy workplace.

Temperature checks. As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, we’ve decided to begin taking the temperatures of our associates as they report to work in stores, clubs and facilities, as well as asking them some basic health screening questions. We are in the process of sending infrared thermometers to all locations over the next 1-2 weeks.

“Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be sent home, asked to seek medical treatment if necessary, and told to not return to work until they are fever-free for at least 3 days.

“Many associates have already been taking their own temperatures at home, and we’re asking them to continue that practice as we start doing it on-site. And we’ll continue to ask associates to look out for other symptoms of the virus (coughing, feeling achy, difficulty breathing) and never come to work when they don’t feel well.

“Our COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows associates to stay home if they are ill or quarantined, knowing that their jobs will be protected.

Masks and gloves. Today we are also sharing more guidance with our associates regarding masks and gloves.

“While the CDC, Walmart, and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don’t ordinarily use them for their jobs, we will make them available—as supplies permit—for associates who want to wear them.

“The masks will begin arriving this week. They will not be N-95 respirators – which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers – they will be high-quality masks.

“We encourage anyone who would like to wear a mask or gloves at work to ask their supervisor for them, while keeping in mind that they are not necessary, and that it is still possible to spread germs while wearing them.

6-20-100 guidance. This week we are also sharing a new framework with associates regarding maintaining healthy behaviors at work. We are asking them to remember three numbers: 6, 20, and 100.

“6 feet is the among of space people should keep from others, when possible, to maintain social distancing. 20 seconds is the among of time people should take to wash their hands with soap and water. And 100 is the temperature that someone should stay home with.

“We will continue to consult with health officials and experts inside and outside Walmart as this situation evolves. We greatly appreciate the work our associates are doing for customers, members, and their communities, and will continue to prioritize their health and well-being.
 


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